Visitor Question: B2B Blogging on Your Company Site or Hosted Elsewhere
A friend just emailed me the following question:
As a Business to Business Company is it better to have your company blog hosted on the company website or should it be more indirect and hosted on wordpress or something like that. I am getting conflicting answers from my people and was wondering if you had any advice.
The following is my response back. Hope this helps you as well.
In answer to your question about whether a B2B company should have their blog hosted on their website or on something external I’d look at the importance of the following:
- Maintaining the technology
- Reasons to not be on your main company site
To me, branding is the most important. If your blog is a key part of your communications strategy then you should have full control over all the elements that show up on the blog:
This is not to say you can’t use a service hosted off your current servers. Just that the logo, design, content, domain, comments system, auto-emails, and even functionality should all reflect your brand. I recommend the blog be on your company’s main domain. If it must be hosted somewhere else, then a sub domain can work. The key is that you do not dilute your brand across multiple domains.
Additionally there should be no third-party content that could show up on your blog without your direct control, such as advertising automatically shown by the blog network you may be hosted on.
Maintaining the technology
Most companies benefit from outsourcing hosting and web server technology. Unless you have full time staff ready and able to manage a blogging system in-house, then you will want to find a trusted service provider. In the long run, it costs so much less. Just make sure they have the resources and track record to keep things up and running.
Whether the system is something you host or something a provider hosts for you, make sure the chosen system allows you to easily get your content and data output and migrated at any time. You want t avoid any type of lock-in whether by vendor, system, or data storage. The good news is, most modern systems have a good ape for this. Systems like Word press or Drupal are open source, so this is even better in that if you had to you could hire other programmers to work on the system directly. Both (especially Wordpress) have hosted services and you could run them on your own site.
Reasons to not be on your main company site
There are some reasons to blog or communicate on places other than your company website. The main reasons for opening up a hosted Word press account, or blogger, or a company my space page, ECT, are to increase exposure to your target audience. In other words, you will quickly reach more people on pre-established networks, especially if the network is a typical place where your target audience gathers. However, posts on these networks should be supplemental or in addition to your main branded site. I would recommend using these communication channels sparingly and remember that your message may be shown with and surrounded by a bunch of stuff that you do not want linked with your brand.
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